Pope Francis says of Ukraine "...a violence has been unleashed that destroys life...diabolical violence, to which we believers are called to react with the power of prayer..." FULL TEXT

Hall of the Consistory
Thursday, June 23, 2022
Dear friends,
I am pleased to welcome you this morning, at the conclusion of the work of your plenary session. I greet Cardinal Sandri, Cardinal Zenari together with the other Pontifical Representatives, the Superiors and Officials of the Dicastery and, through you, all those who in every continent make your generosity possible.
The very intuition of ROACO corresponds to the synodal journey that the universal Church is making; the process of presenting an aid project implies in fact the involvement of various actors: those who present it, the professionals charged with offering their contribution, the Bishop or religious Superior, the Pontifical Representations, the Dicastery for the Oriental Churches and you Agencies, with all those who make up your Offices. Each has a role and is called to dialogue with others by consulting, studying, asking and offering suggestions and explanations, walking together. The IT tools that are being prepared by your offices will make the process more effective, but it is important that they support the meeting and discussion that you have matured over the years, helping to develop the symphony of charity together.
When an orchestra plays an important work, before starting it must tune the instruments: only in this way will the performance be worthy and reveal the skill of the musicians. In setting up the symphony of charity, continue to seek agreement and flee any temptation of isolation and closure in oneself and in one's own groups, in order to remain open to welcoming those brothers and sisters whom the Spirit has suggested to initiate experiences of closeness. and service to the Eastern Catholic Churches, in the mother country as well as in the territories of the so-called diaspora. It is important, in order to agree, to tune in to mutual listening, which facilitates discernment and leads to shared, truly ecclesial choices. This is what you did, for example, with the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Syria, in the Conference held in Damascus in March and in which many young people were actively involved. In the desert of poverty and discouragement caused by the twelve years of war that have prostrated the beloved and tortured Syria, you have been able to discover as a Church that the springs to make the steppes blossom and give water to the thirsty will only gush out if each one knows how to abandon a certain self-referentiality and listen to others to identify real priorities. Of course, these are drops in the ocean of need, but the drop of the Church cannot be missing, while the international community and local authorities are always expected to extinguish the last flame of hope for that suffering people.
The synodal style also animated the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East. September will mark the tenth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in the Middle East, promulgated by my predecessor Benedict XVI during his trip to Lebanon. In ten years, many things have happened: let us think of the sad events that involved Iraq and Syria, of the upheavals in the country of the Cedars itself. There were also some lights of hope, such as the signing of the Document on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi. It will be necessary to verify on the ground the fruits of the Synod for the Middle East; meanwhile, it is necessary to find up-to-date tools and suitable ways of expressing closeness to the Churches of the region. It is also to be hoped that the work of the coordination table on Syria and Iraq started a few years ago will resume, including Lebanon in the common reflection.
Please continue to keep the icon of the good Samaritan in front of your eyes: you have done so and I know you will continue to do so also because of the drama caused by the conflict that from Tigray has again wounded Ethiopia and partly neighboring Eritrea, and especially for the beloved and tormented Ukraine. There we returned to the drama of Cain and Abel; a violence has been unleashed that destroys life, a Luciferian, diabolical violence, to which we believers are called to react with the power of prayer, with the concrete help of charity, with every Christian means so that weapons give way to negotiations . I would like to thank you for helping to bring the caress of the Church and the Pope to Ukraine and to the countries where refugees have been welcomed. In faith we know that the heights of human pride and idolatry will be lowered, and the valleys of desolation and tears filled, but we would also like Isaiah's prophecy of peace to be fulfilled soon: that a people no longer raise their hand against a another people, that swords become plows and spears sickles (cf. Is 2,4). Instead, everything seems to go in the opposite direction: food decreases and the clang of weapons increases. It is the kainic scheme that supports history today. Therefore, let us not stop praying, fasting, helping, working so that the paths of peace find space in the jungle of conflicts.
I heartily bless you, grateful for everything you do. Please don't forget to pray for me too. Thank you.
Source: Vatican.va - Image Screenshot VaticanMedia